Atheists Do Not Exist

My friend Rebecca saw this sign on a recent road trip, and of course she photographed it and sent it to me:


An ordinary person might just post the photo and let it speak for itself. But this is me, and of course I want to gas on about why it’s both so funny and so nonsensical.

1. The sign seems to be a clumsily humorous attempt to respond to the idea that atheists don’t believe in God, therefore God doesn’t exist. But that’s not what atheists say at all. This isn’t Peter Pan, where every time a little child says, “I don’t believe in fairies,” somewhere a fairy drops down dead. (Tangential note: When I was a child, that enraged me so much — it’s such manipulative emotional extortion, although I obviously didn’t think of it in those terms back then — that I used to go around saying, “I don’t believe in fairies, I don’t believe in fairies, I don’t believe in fairies,” and imagining fairies dropping like flies all over the world.) Atheists don’t think that our disbelief makes God not exist — that’s getting the cause and effect completely backwards. We think there’s no good evidence for God’s existence, and therefore we don’t believe in him.

2. More to the point: Did anyone else notice that the sign actually proves itself wrong?

I find this hilarious. In theory, the all-powerful God could, in fact, make atheists disappear by simply thinking us out of existence. If God were real, atheists’ lack of belief in him wouldn’t have any effect on his existence… but God’s disbelief in atheists could, in fact, make us disappear (or convert) in the blink of an eye.

But atheists do exist. Obviously. There is, in fact, compelling, physical evidence for the existence of atheists.

Therefore, either the Lifeway Southern Baptist Church has it wrong, and God does believe in atheists… or they have it wrong, and God exists but is not all-powerful and does not have the power to make atheists disappear…or they have it wrong, and God does not exist.

I’m just sayin’, is all.

Atheists Do Not Exist
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8 thoughts on “Atheists Do Not Exist

  1. 1

    I love it! I love it! Now, I’d love to live in a 100-room mansion. Therefore I shall pray to God and ask him to stop believing in the non-existence of my mansion, and Presto! It’ll stop non-existing!

  2. 2

    Good, then maybe they will shut up and stop bitching about us!
    I’m just having an argument with my Catholic friend who insists that god must be real, because so many people believe in him. That’s her argument. Everyone believes it, therefore it must be true.
    I once had a very religious friend at work who insisted that I couldn’t POSSIBLY be an atheist, that I MUST be a Christian, because I am a kind and honest person. “You’re a Christian in your heart, I know it,” she said. Because, as we all know, the Christians have a monopoly on kindness. Only Christians can be good people, and vice versa.
    I saw a bumper sticker that said “Who are you to question why your god doesn’t want me to believe in him?”

  3. 3

    “Therefore, either the Lifeway Southern Baptist Church has it wrong, and God does believe in atheists… or they have it wrong, and God exists but is not all-powerful and does not have the power to make atheists disappear…or they have it wrong, and God does not exist.”
    Or atheists really don’t exist, and all we so-called atheists really believe in god *deep down*, but we don’t want to admit it because we hate morals and don’t want to have to answer for anything we do. And uh…Stalin was an atheist!

  4. 4

    Is this sign in Santa Cruz?
    Cause that’s where I live, and I think I saw this exact same sign the other day, when I was driving in the neighborhood near the animal shelter. I nearly wrecked my car when I saw it!
    Plus, it was Sunday, and there were people milling around the sign, glaring at those of us who dared cruise by without stopping for services. They were so proud of their sign– boy, had they put the screws to us nonbelievers!
    I thought, “you are making yourself look even more stupid than necessary.”
    Or maybe this is a fad, and all the fundie churches are advertising this kneeslapper. I didn’t notice the denomination on the one I drove by.
    I just love learning that you were a “fairy-dropper,” Greta. Did you like Fairy Tales on their own fantasy merit, or…?

  5. 5

    I’m not sure where the sign was, Susie. Rebecca?
    And I loved fairy tales when I was a kid. I just resented the sappy manipulation of being told that I was somehow a bad, hurtful child for not believing they were real. That whole Victorian sentimental thing about how cute and sweet and innocent it is that children believe in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, fairies, etc., and how it’s sort of sad when they stop… I think that’s bullshit, and I did even as a child.

  6. 7

    The sign was along Old US 50 in a town just East of Canon City. The fact that there is an identical sign in Santa Cruz suggests that there’s some sort of Southern Baptist newsletter or website where these things are suggested. Probably under some sort of wacky title like, “Ideas for Idealogues” or “Quips for Queerbashers.”
    Or maybe not.

  7. 8

    @Susie Bright –
    No, that’s not in Santa Cruz. It’s actually in Canon City, CO. Was easy to track down because the sign has the phone number on it. It’s on 1007 Elm Ave, to be precise. Doesn’t make it any better, though. Or more correct. Or funnier. Just for the record, guys.

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